Schools not named, but Minister launches inquiry into employment of sex offender

Announcing an inquiry yesterday into the employment of a sex offender in several schools, Education Minister Hekia Parata did not provide information on which schools were involved. However it’s evident that they are Auckland schools, as the Herald reports that Manukau police have confirmed a 41-year-old man connected to the case was arrested on fraud charges on February 21. He appeared in court on February 22 and is still in custody.

Scoop report by Mark Williams
The Education Minister Hekia Parata yesterday announced a Ministerial Inquiry into the employment of a convicted sex offender in several schools. The offender, who had been found to be in breach of his conditions of release, had been working in education under multiple identities. At least two schools are known to be involved. These schools have been informed and granted suppression orders. It is possible that six other schools may also be affected.

The Minister said the man had worked in schools since 2000, that he was convicted of a sexual offence involving a minor in 2004 and was under an extended supervision order.

The case came to light when one of the schools discovered that the man had multiple identities. The school then contacted the police, who identified him. The police notified the Ministry of Education late last week.

The Minister would not say whether the schools involved were primary or secondary, whether they were Kura Kaupapa, or where they were.

The inquiry will be conducted by former Ombudsman Mel Smith who was at the press conference today.